Archive for February, 2010

Comments now close after 90 days

February 25th, 2010 by Reinder

Lately I've been getting some comments to blog posts from months to a year ago, usually record reviews. These may or may not be substantive in nature but are usually in an insulting tone. Since I have no intention to perform blog archeology and get insulted in the process, I have changed the blog settings so that comments now close after 90 days.

Waffle doesn't get a whole lot of comments as it's currently just a personal blog that I post on sporadically. So there's no need at this point for any rules or comment policies. But even at low volume, drive-by comments that respond to stuff that is ancient history to me, and do so in the style of a fourteen-year-old YouTube commenter, are a pain in the butt to deal with, so I won't. Automatic comment closing served me well when Waffle was on Movable Type and overrun with spam, and it will serve me well again.

Windowsill gardening in an abbreviated season

February 20th, 2010 by Reinder

During my last two long stays in the US with my fiancee, I got the gardening bug, bad. But right now, I'm over here in Groningen and not over there in middle Tennessee. And I'm moving out in May, so it's not like I can complete a growing season here. The solution: windowsill gardening with a sharply abbreviated season.
I have bought a bunch of seeds, a propagator, potting soil and some inner pots (I had some outer pots left) and have got on with preparing/soaking seeds and planting them.
The whole project assumes that no plants are going to be planted outside (except one), so I have decided to ignore the start date instructions on the packaging; plants are going to be sown now or next week, in standard potting soil, using the same procedure for each of them, and we'll see what comes up and what will be ready to eat in the next few weeks. The one good thing about not having a real growing season anyway, and doing this for the first time, is that I can make mistakes and not regret them - all that will be lost is 25 Euros worth of supplies. Whatever I learn from the experience will be usefull next year, when I will be in the US and doing real gardening and farming.

I am going to grow:
Cayenne peppers
Leek (as a sprouting vegetable)
Red cabbage (as a sprouting vegetable)
Spring onions
Cilantro
Fennel (as a herb)
Celery (as a herb)
Spring spinach (this is the one that's going to go into the ground as it is a fast growing variety that should be ready to eat within two months)
Basil (not planted yet as I ran out of pots).

If all this stuff just grows as I hope for, this will probably be the only post about the windowsill gardening project. If anything interesting goes wrong, though, I'll let everybody know.

Recent activities on ROCR.net

February 12th, 2010 by Reinder

I have updated the cast page with short bios of two minor characters from the Rite of Serfdom storyline: Brakeburn and Brushhead (whose page comes up looking wonky in Safari for a reason I cannot understand). I have also linked the page for Hywel Bastardsson which I created last Summer but forgot to link from the main cast page. Faerie body parts galore so don't read them at work.

I am trying out some Photoshop alternatives for both OS X and Windows, so there will probably be a lot more small updates featuring little graphics made from art created earlier, using Pixelmator, Pixel Studio Pro, Seashore, Paint.net and whatever else I can find. So far, I really like Pixelmator for jobs that are too small to load a full-featured graphics program for. It opens promptly and handles smaller graphics well, and the interface makes common tasks a breeze. For larger, multi-layered jobs, its performance is still severely impaired on my MacBook. Pixel Studio Pro has the advantage of being multi-platform and is also easy to use, but it is also crash-prone on Windows and it comically misinterprets my larger images as animations. Both are hard to bail out of once the spinning beach ball appears. I will want to try both of them intensively, though.

Another piece of technology I'm very interested in is Opera Unite, the small, simple web/file server built into new versions of the Opera web browser. I am already using it to develop and host some new web pages right from my computers at home, and it does make development and sharing a lot easier and more fun. It is very limited, and I wouldn't run a dynamic, database driven website on it even if I could, but as with those small graphics apps, the features it does offer are very handy and will speed up new development on the website. Living in the boonies for months has given me a much stronger appreciation of the need for simplicity in websites, and I do have some ideas for simplifying the ROCR site.

Some announcements

February 2nd, 2010 by Reinder

Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan is now on Facebook. Has been for a while actually, but because it's easier to post quick announcements about the comic there than here, I recommend adding the page if you want to keep up with things. Longer, less-frequent announcements and commentary will still also be posted here, though.

I've not been updating much since December, but Aggie has been kicking ass and taking names over at American Gothic Daily lately, and now has several pages backed up so that she can increase the frequency again for a while.